Today in Tech: Is $329 too much for the iPad mini?

October 24, 2012: 1:54 PM ET

Also: Microsoft's Surface tablet reviewed, and two reasons Facebook is turning things around.

Microsoft dives deep to surface a hit [WIRED]

This is a great device. It is a new thing, in a new space, and likely to confuse many of Microsoft's longtime customers. People will have problems with applications — especially when they encounter them online and are given an option by Internet Explorer to run them, only to discover this won't work. But overall it's quite good; certainly better than any full-size Android tablet on the market. And once the application ecosystem fleshes out, it's a viable alternative to the iPad as well.

Is $329 the right price for the iPad mini?

Apple's Schiller defends iPad mini's price tag [REUTERS]

Asked by Reuters whether the iPad mini's price could make it too expensive for some cost-conscious shoppers who have been attracted to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, Schiller said he believes consumers will see Apple's smaller tablet as a premium product worth paying for.

"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," Schiller said.

iPad mini drives another nail in hardware's coffin [VENTUREBEAT]

Apple deserves credit for its originality: After all, it basically invented the smartphone market (yes, Windows Mobile, I remember you). But this does not mean it does not learn from its competitors. It has become clear over the past nine months that there is consumer demand for 5- and 7-inch devices. Samsung, for example, seems to be doing very good business with its seemingly mammoth 5-inch Galaxy Note, a phone that edges into tablet territory. Like many, I was skeptical at first about this product, but it turns out Samsung was onto something. The Note is too big for most people's pockets, but Samsung has done its homework. It has successfully marketed these devices to women who carry the Note in their purse. I had this point driven home to me last month, when I saw the entire crew from Asiana Airlines Flight 213 in a hotel lobby. All 25 of the flight attendants were carrying 5-inch or larger devices. Amazon and Google have also done well with the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7, respectively — although they are 'doing well' by a different set of metrics than the iPad.

Two reasons Facebook is turning it around [FORTUNE]

So what happened? Facebook's disastrous IPO was obviously a wake up call. After proudly declaring to prospective investors that revenue would take a backseat to product, Zuckerberg appears to have changed his tune. He has worked overtime to rally his troops to the cause of monetization. In a notable change, the advertising experience, once an afterthought, was turned into a key responsibility for every product group. The company rolled out several new ad products, and pushed into e-commerce with Gifts, a service that allows user to buy items for each other on the Facebook platform.

Square takes its first international step: payment service now live in Canada [TECHCRUNCH]

This is a sign that the company has come good on its promise that it would start to make its first international moves by the end of this year — a commitment that it made when it announced its latest round of funding, a Series D of $200 million, in September. That investment reportedly valued the company at $3.25 billion.

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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